I should have learned my lesson when I went to a teatime showing of WALL-E last year. The cinema was like a fucking nursery. Kids wriggling around, kids running up and down the stairs, kids babbling, kids crying. And their parents doing nothing to stop them. And the cinema staff doing nothing to stop them (they were all teenagers and I'm betting, utterly untrained in how to deal with such situations).
So today I went to see Swan Lake. And I mistakenly bought a 2.30pm matinee ticket (all the best seats were gone for the PM performance). There were kids aplenty in the autitorium as it filled up. Uhoh, I thought.....a 3 hour ballet.....kids sitting still and being quiet for 3 hours inc intervals? Hmmmmm
Amazingly, every single child was quiet and well behaved. Except one. The minute the music started, kiddie-babble started. LOUD kiddie-babble. It was right across the theatre from my seat and I could hear it every time the music died or went to a quiet part, so Lord knows what the people sitting near said Kiddie thought. Luckily the music did drown it out a lot, but each time there was a dramatic pause, or the end of the music, there is was. Fucking inane kiddie babble. I thought to myself "OK, the parent will take it outside soon", but nothing happened. Nobody "shusshed", nobody did anything. End of Act 1 and it's interval time. Right, hopefully kiddie will be told to behave in Act 2.
Bullshit! Same thing all thru Act 2. Sadly I was stuck in the middle of a row so I couldn't get up and complain to the ushers. The ushers who were present during the performance but were doing NOTHING to silence this disruption. Isn't that meant to be their job?
Anyways, I was thoroughly enjoying the ballet. The lead dancer with his fabulous head of hair, even more fabulous thighs, and a rather dubious outline on his codpiece ;o) The lead ballerina was stunning in her grace and poise, my God these people have some muscles! And a chorus dancer guy who had legs longer and more slender almost than the lead ballerina :O
The "bad guy", Von Rothbart, was awesome in his head to toe skintight black ensemble, and feathery headdress - bloody hell that guy could leap across the stage! And I couldn't help but snigger to myself during the famous and much-ripped off Cygnet dance :D The costumes and sets were a marvel - sparkling headdresses and sequined bodices, and stunning scenery that was masterfully lit and accentuated with smoke machines.
All this was tinged with the background constant of Kiddie Babble. When the interval came for Act 2 I actually went and spoke to the Usher, pointing out that there IS, in fact, a child in the autitorium who is totally disrupting the show. Apparently I was the only person who complained, and I think the Usher just thought I was being a whinger (yea yeah Ok you lot, shut up :D ) She said they would try to find the child when the performance started again. Did she fuck. Act 3 and the kid must have been either bored or tired, so yep - the crying started. AND STILL THE FUCKING PARENT DIDN'T TAKE THE CHILD OUTSIDE. I watched as the usher just stood there, doing nothing. Then I just tried to block the noise out as the crying turned back into kiddie babble. Thankfully Act 3 had lots of loud music, and was a fab finale to the show.
I was aghast at the ignorance of the parent in not taking this babbling monster out of the show. I was even more amazed at the typical Polite Response of the British Audience - ie, not saying or doing fuck all, just sitting there probably muttering under their breaths. A few people were turning their heads and tutting, but it was only me who vocally complained. Maybe if more of them had said something to the Usher, then something would have been done. ie, a bitch-slap to the selfish parent who clearly loved her child being the centre of attention and didn't give a shit that it was ruining the performance.
Matinees - never again!